Planning on travelling overseas? To make sure that you get the best experience out of your holidays, here are some tips and pointers about the most common mistakes travelers tend to make regarding travel insurance in Singapore.

1. Not paying attention to what you’re signing up for

We can’t stress this enough, read the fine print, and then reread it again afterwards. Your policy’s terms and conditions document holds all the information relevant to your coverage, such as the payout limits, the situations you’re actually covered for (and their requirements), the policy’s exclusion list, as well as the procedures you’ll have to follow in order to make a successful claim.

By reading your policy carefully on time, you won’t ever get caught off-guard with little to no knowledge on what your travel insurance can really do to help you out.

Also, if your policy’s documentation isn’t enough, remember that you can always check for additional information on the insurance provider’s website, or you can even contact their agents to get a more thorough explanation.

2. Skipping out on travel insurance altogether

Possibly one of the worst mistakes of all, skipping on travel insurance is a great way to set yourself up for a disaster. With the chances of needing travel or medical related assistance while overseas averaging at about 20-25%, not having travel insurance to back you up is a risk you simply can’t afford to take. 

This point is driven home even more if we consider the costs of not getting insurance; for instance, having to check into a hospital in the United States can easily rack up a medical bill of thousands of US dollars, an unreasonable expense that could have been avoided with a simple $70 travel insurance plan. 

As a side note, relying solely on credit card travel insurance during your holidays may also be counterproductive. Many of these complimentary travel insurance plans are either very limited, reserved for only a few select clients, or require you to book the entire trip on your credit card. The choice of whether credit card travel insurance is enough is up to you.

3. Going overboard on the risks

A common mistake made by travelers when getting travel insurance is to take on extra risks they normally wouldn’t even think of taking if they weren’t covered by a policy. As usual, travel insurance companies in Singapore expect travelers to behave responsibly by taking the least amount of risk possible and following the policy guidelines to the letter.

This means not partaking in activities deemed dangerous and therefore excluded from your insurance policy, such as extreme sports, winter sports and illegal activities. Drinking and/or consuming narcotics are also grounds to get your coverage terminated. 

4. Buying your insurance when it’s too late

Some travelers make the mistake of waiting for the last second to get their insurance, often times when they’re already at the airport or, in the worst case scenario, at their holiday destination. Although getting travel insurance at the airport may not be very complicated, the same doesn’t apply to getting insurance once your already abroad.

Post departure coverage can be very tricky to find, since most travel insurance companies in Singapore will outright refuse to cover a trip after it has already begun, and those that do usually charge a higher premium, as well as extra excess fees, and include a waiting period of about 3 days before the coverage can actually start due to fraud protection, meaning that any claim that may arise during that time-lapse (and prior to it) will not be covered. 

Another drawback to buying insurance when it’s too late is the fact that you’ll be missing out on a large part of the pre-departure coverage. For example, if your trip gets canceled due to a traffic accident or illness, or if your travel destination suddenly gets plunged into an unexpected natural disaster, civil unrest or even war, you won’t be covered for the costs of having to cancel or delay the trip.

So, to avoid this, your best bet would be to get your insurance plan as soon as you’ve booked your trip with your travel agent.

5. Not taking the necessary precautions

Just like with the risk factor, travel insurance companies in Singapore expect travelers to take all the necessary precautions to make sure that nothing will get in the way of their trip or put them jeopardy. This includes situations such as declaring any pre-existing medical conditions, keeping a close eye on your personal belongings and documents, getting all the necessary vaccination when travelling to exotic countries, and also following the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ travel notices and warnings.